Pro Mini died during uploading - possibility to unbrick?

Hi,

I have a pro mini clone which worked perfectly. I just desoldered LED diodes and regulator from it to prevent current consumption and I could get 0.03A in sleep mode. But. During my tuning of the sketch, I was uploading several times corrected sketches and it stopped responding.
Now when I try to upload sketch via ftdi usb to serial board the IDE just says:

stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 1 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x00
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 2 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x00
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 3 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x00
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 4 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x00
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 5 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x00
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 6 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x00
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 7 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x00
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 8 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x00
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 9 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x00
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 10 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x00
Problem uploading to board.  See http://www.arduino.cc/en/Guide/Troubleshooting#upload for suggestions.

I tried another Pro Mini, it works with the same FTDI, so FTDI is not broken. I know it is quite cheap item, but is there some way how to unbrick the dead Pro Mini?

Thx

Do you have any other boards other than Minis (for example an Uno)? If you do one possible solution could be re-burning the bootloader.

Have a look at the following pages for more info:

Bootloading a Mini

Using an Arduino as an ISP

Let me know if those help.

I tried that. I have an UNO R3 board. I connected 10,11,12,13 pins of UNO to RST, 11, 12, 13 pins of the pro mini, then I connected 3v3 pin of UNO to VCC of pro mini, as well as connected GNDs of both.

I tried using IDE 1.6.0 and choosed, board "Pro or Pro Mini", then programmer "AVRISP" and then clicked Burn->Burn Bootloader.

This was the message on the bottom:

avrdude: Yikes!  Invalid device signature.
         Double check connections and try again, or use -F to override
         this check.

I use linux, so I could check what command is being executed during programming and tried the same but with parameter -F from the command line:

/opt/arduino-1.6.0/hardware/tools/avr/bin/avrdude -C/opt/arduino-1.6.0/hardware/tools/avr/etc/avrdude.conf -q -q -patmega328p -cstk500v1 -P/dev/ttyUSB0 -e -Ulock:w:0x3F:m -Uefuse:w:0x05:m -Uhfuse:w:0xDA:m -Ulfuse:w:0xFF:m -F
avrdude: Yikes!  Invalid device signature.
avrdude: Expected signature for ATmega328P is 1E 95 0F
 ***failed;  
avrdude: verification error, first mismatch at byte 0x0000
         0x00 != 0x3f
avrdude: verification error; content mismatch

Then I noticed there should be a 10uF capacitor across GND+RST on UNO. So I placed electrolytic capacitor across it (GND - negative lead, RST - positive lead, not sure if this is correct). After placing the capacitor there, the output of the commant is different:

/opt/arduino-1.6.0/hardware/tools/avr/bin/avrdude -C/opt/arduino-1.6.0/hardware/tools/avr/etc/avrdude.conf -q -q -patmega328p -cstk500v1 -P/dev/ttyUSB0 -e -Ulock:w:0x3F:m -Uefuse:w:0x05:m -Uhfuse:w:0xDA:m -Ulfuse:w:0xFF:m -F
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 1 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x00
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 2 of 10: not in sync: resp=0xe0
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 3 of 10: not in sync: resp=0xe0
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 4 of 10: not in sync: resp=0xe0
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 5 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x00
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 6 of 10: not in sync: resp=0xe0
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 7 of 10: not in sync: resp=0xe0
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 8 of 10: not in sync: resp=0xe0
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 9 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x00
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 10 of 10: not in sync: resp=0xe0

So either I did something wrong or the pro mini is completely dead.

I have not had any experience with a pro mini before, so I cannot say if it is actually completely dead or not. However, I think the selection under the tools ==> programmer menu in the IDE should actually have been Arduino as ISP.

However, I think the selection under the tools ==> programmer menu in the IDE should actually have been Arduino as ISP.

→ correct, sorry, I overlooked this. I will try with this option.

Great! Thanks for the hint! I was so tired yesterday in the evening that I completely overlooked option "Arduino as ISP" Programmer option. I burned bootloader there now and after that I was able to upload a sketch to the pro mini again.